Controversial director Oliver Stone suggested Tuesday night that the United States could have been in involved in recent power cuts in strife-torn Venezuela, according to a report in The Independent. The 72-year-old director of Snowden suggested in a Facebook post that the U.S. has long had the ability to manufacture breakdowns and malfunctions in the infrastructure of other countries. Stone’s comments echo those of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who blamed the power outages that affected millions of his nation’s poorer citizens for several days on the “imperialist government of the United States.”
While not citing any direct evidence of U.S. sabotage of Venezuela’s power grid, Stone noted that the power outages “took place just after Juan Guaidó — a U.S.-backed self-declared president — returned to Venezuela and called for massive protests to try to force the Nicolas Maduro government out of power.”
“A coincidence? Our government has wreaked havoc in foreign computer systems before.”
The director also pointed out that U.S. subterfuge and interference in other countries’ internal politics is nothing new, citing as evidence Pentagon and U.S. spy agency efforts in 2003 to freeze billions in Saddam Hussein’s bank accounts, as well as a 2010 cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program that Stone claims was perpetrated by a joint Israeli/U.S. team.
“Remote cyber operations rarely require a significant ground presence, making the ideal deniable influence operation.”
The director of 1991’s JFK, who has long been considered something of a conspiracy theorist by many, strongly suggested in that film that President Kennedy was not, in fact, assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, at least not acting alone. Instead, Stone’s film echoed long-standing theories that there was a plot put in place by shadowy government and allied figures to take out the 35th president.
Indeed, there are strange components to the story of the power outages at the San Geronimo B substation that affected 80 percent of the country’s populace, and they lend themselves to theorizing about malfeasance. While reporters were told that a brush fire near the station underneath a main power line destabilized the power grid and caused the station’s turbines to shut down, The New York Times reported that, in fact, there was a major failure inside the turbines that made them inexplicably unable to restart.
And while the administration of President Donald Trump has denied any involvement in the power outages, which resulted in power loss at numerous hospitals and a number of deaths, it has made it clear that the U.S. is backing self-declared president Juan Guaidó and working with other countries in an effort to overthrow Maduro and install him instead.
“We can’t be sure that the US government was involved in this unprecedented outage,” Stone wrote. “But we do know that the Trump administration is engaged in a reckless regime change strategy in Venezuela, seeking to foment a military coup or mass uprising through its creation of a parallel presidency while imposing devastating economic sanctions and threatening military intervention.”